Calling her homework “obnoxiously fun,” Purser wouldn’t trade it for the world right now. At least that’s what she said when we asked…well you’ll see below. Right now she’s juggling being an indie musician as well as an English Lit major at Washington & Lee. She seems to be doing well enough though as she’s nearing the end of her junior year, and also released her debut this year. We talked about the debut Scholasticism, that dual lifestyle and so much more…
Kendra: If an opportunity musical arose that made it so you had to put your education on the back-burner, would you?
Purser: Since I’m so close to the end of my college career, I think I’d be inclined to stick it out here. I have a lot more liberal arts learning to do before I’m officially a well-rounded Individual. But the best part is, as evidenced by FUDG Records and this most recent project, there are so many wonderful musical opportunities here on campus.
Kendra: Whatever the answer you’re still rocking the books and the music. So good for you! Now you’re a junior, a little more mature than a freshman typically is. If you’d released your debut, Scholasticism, back when you were a wee freshman starting out – how different do you think it would have been? Not only sound wise but also lyrically?
Purser: Scholasticism would be wildly different had I attempted to write it earlier. It really would not have happened, partially because most of the songs are based on course texts I’ve loved over the years, and partially because I had writer’s block up until this project. I was an active songwriter in middle school and high school, but my first two years of college were, songwriting-wise, bone dry.
I remember the lyrics I wrote back then were so full of uncertainty. My songs had no idea what they were about or who they were for. You can hear traces of this in the laundry list of questions posed in “Else,” the first song I finished in college and the last gasp of that transitional point in my life. I think I needed to spend those two full years learning my place in the world and the new shape of my mind before I could make this music.
Kendra: The title of the record sent my head spinning back in time to the Scholastic Book Fair. Were you one of those kids who got too excited when the book fair rolled around every year? If so, what were you spending your lunch money on?
Purser: I was absolutely a Scholastic Book Fair fan. I remember poring over the Guinness Book of World Records for entire lunch periods.
Kendra: What are your opinions on the current indie rock scene from both the perspective of an artist and a fan?
Purser: I am currently easing into new music after isolating myself to write Scholasticism, so my opinions on the larger scene are still shamefully uninformed. However, while I was working on this project, I listened to Vulfpeck, Jacob Collier, and Dirty Projectors pretty much exclusively. I remember listening to “Cool Your Heart” by Dirty Projectors for the first time and literally skipping across town to the music hall so I could write, I was so inspired. All three of those artists reminded me that the ultimate purpose of technically impressive music is to do justice to the splendor of living in a world of infinite sounds.
Kendra: New album’s out, what else is on the table for the year?
Purser: To round out the school year, I’m taking a play writing class and trying my hand at fiction and dialogue. I’m hoping to write, direct, and score a few short films this year, both for school and for fun. Be on the lookout for a music video!
Kendra: We know you’re about the music, but we want to switch your focus to art for a second. If you had to choose an art piece that best represents your sound, what would it be?
Purser: This is “The Infinite Recognition” by my favorite artist, René Magritte. I think it summons the playful mystery of learning from lofty discussions with similar souls. Even if we are holding this dialogue with our heads in the clouds, at least our perspective is wide. This painting is my college experience.